Smart Kitchen Renovation: Cost-Efficiency Without Sacrificing Quality


It’s no secret that kitchen renovation is often the most expensive home renovation activities, and that’s why it’s often intimidating for many homeowners.

However, not only kitchen remodeling is expensive, the cost can be unpredictable and might fluctuate wildly even with all the proper planning. After all, there are a lot of elements in a kitchen: floorings, appliances, cabinets, counters, and refrigerators, among others. Each of them can contribute to some degree of fluctuation.

In this guide, we will share effective tips to save more money for your kitchen renovation without sacrificing quality and/or too much space.

Let’s start with the most basic element of the kitchen: the floor.

Save Costs on Kitchen Flooring

When choosing your kitchen floors, there are three main considerations: durability, aesthetics, and cost. 

If you want to save costs, in most cases you will need to sacrifice one of either durability or aesthetics, but making smart choices about your design and layout can help.

Open-concept kitchen is a popular choice in recent years, and probably for several years in the future. However, with this layout, we will need to have similar floors throughout the kitchen. If you want, you can opt for more traditional kitchen layout with walls and put expensive tiles or hardwoods on visible areas.

In general, if you want to save flooring costs, you have two main options: laminate flooring and vinyl.

Laminate flooring is made of 99% wood, looks very similar to hardwood, and cost half that of hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is also easier to maintain—and more durable—than hardwood. 

However, vinyl is superior in moisture resistance than laminate flooring, and so is more durable. Yet, you sacrifice a little bit of aesthetics compared to laminate floor since vinyl is 100% plastic and look less natural.

Remember, however, that if your kitchen space is smaller, you can invest in more expensive tiles, hardwood, or other luxury materials to enhance the look of your kitchen.

Save Costs on Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are usually the second most expensive element in your kitchen—after the appliances. 

High-end cabinets can cost more than $10,000, so saving costs on your cabinets without sacrificing too much can be tricky.

Again, here your main consideration is between storage space and aesthetics. If possible, don’t change the layout of your previous kitchen and unless absolutely necessary, avoid adding more storage. 

If you only want a change of looks, re-painting existing cabinets can be an option. Changing the finish—for example from lighter to darker color— can significantly change the feel of your kitchen. 

A tip, bright, lighter color (i.e. bright white) can camouflage outdated designs. 

Another option is to replace hinges and panels of your cabinets, including replacing certain central panels with glass or metal for more accent. New cabinet doors are relatively affordable, and can be a great option to enhance the looks of your outdated cabinets. 

In short, don’t be hasty in buying new cabinets. Figure out your options, clean everything, and use as many existing elements as you can.

Save Costs on Appliances

Appliances are usually the most significant improvement in a kitchen renovation —and can be very expensive. In general, appliances costs will account for around 20% of the total kitchen renovation costs.

On the other hand, cutting costs from appliances is also the hardest, but it’s definitely not impossible.

First and foremost, research your options. Think carefully about your needs and priorities before planning a budget for your appliances. Thankfully, nowadays there are plenty of information available online to help you compare prices and features between all your different options.

Depending on your location, you might also be able to look into utility rebates. For example, if you are planning to purchase Energy Star appliances, you can use the rebate finder to first check for these opportunities. 

Also, do your research to find discount opportunities. Some retailers might be willing to give you discounts if you purchase several appliances together. Sometimes, you can cut costs for up to 25%. 

Another important expenses to consider here is installation costs. In most cases, retailers charge a fairly high rate to send their servicemen (to offset their discount), so you might want to hire your own professional for a more affordable price. 

Nowadays, various online platforms like Home Stars and Angie’s List can help you find the right contractors for your needs. Take advantage of these platforms, shop around for the best rates (without sacrificing professionalism), and cut your appliances costs smartly.

Save Costs on Kitchen Countertops

Natural stone countertops are the favorite choices nowadays, but a granite countertop can around $2,500 to $5,000 including installation. Countertops (of any material) typically will take around 10% of kitchen remodelling budget

The best way to cut costs here is obviously to choose a cheaper material without sacrificing too much aesthetics. Natural soapstone is relatively affordable, while can still provide the classy look especially if you prefer a darker color. 

If you want a brighter side of the color spectrum, glass countertop (glazed or tempered) is a good option and can dramatically brighten the room. 

If you want durability, Quartz is a good choice due to its non-porous nature, making it easy to clean and maintain. You might want to check out this guide discussing different countertop materials to figure out the best choice according to your preferences and budget. 

Another alternative to save costs is to opt for tiles instead of a natural stone slab. Granite tiles, for example, will only cost around $5 to $20 per square foot (materials only), although you will need to hire an installer and might need to buy other materials. 

If possible, purchase your sink and any plumbing parts separately so you can fit your budget. This will also give you the chance to further customize the looks of your countertops according to your preferences. 

End Words

While kitchen remodeling can indeed be expensive, there are ways to cut down your expenses without sacrificing too much quality. Above,we have shared several tips to cut down costs on four important kitchen elements: floors, appliances, cabinets, and countertops. 

Make sure to carefully weigh down your options before making any purchase. Do your research and find the best vendors for each kitchen elements to make the most of your budget. 

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